Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
    • How did you meet one another? What did romance look like in the early part of your relationship?
    • What does romance look like in your relationship now?
    • Romance takes time. Do you have time set aside in your weekly schedule for one another? A date night, for example?
    • Are you able to talk about romance and non‐sexual intimacy in your marriage? What do those conversations look and feel like?
    • How would you describe romance? How would your spouse describe it?
    • What gets in the way of romance in your marriage?
    • What about romance in your marriage is not living up to your expectations or desires? What would you like to see change?
    • Have you expressed your desires to your spouse? What was their response?
    • Where do you find your model for romance? Movies? Other couples? Scripture?
    • Have you read any helpful resources on godly marital intimacy? What discoveries have you made?
    • What would your kids say about your love for one another?
    • How can I as a mentor encourage you right now in this area?
    • What does “affection” look like to you?
    • What was affection like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal)?
    • What would you like to be different in the way your family (or your spouse) shows affection?
    • How did your father and mother show affection differently?
    • On a scale of 1-10, how much affection do you feel like you have in your marriage right now? What would you like it to be if you could patiently and gently affect
    • Have you and your spouse discussed your sexual past with one another?  When did you do that?  Do you feel that each of you were fully honest in that disclosure?
Deeper Questions
    • How familiar are you with how men and women view romance differently? With this in mind, how are you looking for ways to meet your spouse’s unique needs?
    • In what ways are you considering your spouse’s needs above your own, or are your demands front and center? (Philippians 2:3‐4)
    • How do you and your spouse resolve conflicts without allowing bitterness or resentment to creep in?  Is anything unresolved over past grievances?
    • How could your spouse take one small step in the right direction? Have you asked God for wisdom in how and when to express this to your spouse?
    • What is your plan to combat busyness, isolation, or stress in your home? What can you do today to start dealing with these “little foxes ruining the vineyard,” i.e. things that come between you? (Song of Solomon 2:15)
    • Do you pray together and ask God to be at the center of your marriage? Is He your “first love?” (Revelation 2:4‐5)
    • How would you rate you and your spouse in terms of non-sexual physical closeness (e.g. holding hands, snuggling, hugging)?  How has that contributed to or taken away from your overall feelings of sexual intimacy?
    • Do you go to bed at the same time at night? Do you go to bed early enough to talk and listen and laugh together?
    • Is your bedroom a sanctuary or is it full of distractions, such as television, computer, kids’ toys, or clutter? What would you and your spouse think about removing those distractions together? How would that be helpful to you?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 53

    “We learned that sacrifice is the language of romance, and selfishness is the language of isolation and rejection. Commitment inspires one to sacrifice, and sacrifice makes commitment a rare jewel to be cherished.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 125

    “When Scripture speaks of ‘cleaving,’ the idea in the Hebrew is to cling, hold, or keep close. Two are joined together face to face, becoming one flesh … Cleaving, however, is more than sexual. Cleaving also means spiritual and emotional closeness. This is a salient passage for husbands—full of insight. Your wife will feel loved when your move toward her and let her know you want to be close with a look, a touch, or a smile.”<

  • - Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, For Men Only, p. 76

    “When a woman thinks of security, her primary thought is not about a house, a savings account, or tuition for the kids.  For her, emotional security matters most: feeling emotionally connected and close to you, and knowing that you are there for her no matter what.”

  • - Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only, p. 35

    “Women hold an incredible power in the way we communicate with our men (both husbands and sons) to build them up or to tear them down, to encourage or to exasperate.”

  • - James Walker, Husbands Who Won’t Lead and Wives Who Won’t Follow, p. 75

    “When marriage is filled with more withdrawals than deposits, it’s easy to forget why you married in the first place … The same love that drew us to our mates so that we wanted to spend our lives with them is still there. It may be covered over with the trauma of irritations and the loss of romance, but it’s there nevertheless.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 71

    “Many people, even godly men and women, live in marriages that are dead because there is no affection. And women endure it because their husbands are good in other ways, or they don’t feel worthy enough to ask for affection. But this is not the way God designed the marital relationship. … If you are in a marriage that lacks it, pray for the Holy Spirit’s transformation.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 137

    “When a wife believes there is a problem, when she feels hurt, lonely, or neglected, she definitely has no interest in responding sexually. When her spirit is crushed, her body is unavailable.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 152

    “Marriages that are sexually satisfying in private carry into the public sphere a certain sparkle, an open demonstration of joy and unity that helps point people to the Creator of marriage.””

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 159

    “While men may need to be reminded of the importance of frequent nonsexual touching, many wives have learned that if a woman is not pursuing her husband sexually, just about every other movement toward her husband may go unnoticed.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 220‐221

    “One of the most powerful principles for romance that any man could apply to his marriage is: Words spoken face‐to‐face, heart‐to‐heart, to your wife are powerful.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 277

    “Romance and resentment cannot exist in the same heart. Resentment will extinguish the embers of romance. That’s why forgiveness is such as essential discipline in marriage. Forgiveness says, ‘By forgiving you, I give up all my rights to punish you for how you’ve hurt me. I no longer hold it against you, expecting you to pay for your transgressions.’ When you forgive you spouse, you choose to relinquish your rights to hold it against her.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Starting Your Marriage Right, p. 128

    “Many men who were accomplished at romantic, deep conversation during courtship seem to lose this talent later. Make a commitment to learn to make intimate conversation a priority with your wife.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Growing a Spiritually Strong Family, p. 57

    “Spiritually speaking, you may find that your spouse will have more interest in growing with you in an intimate relationship with God if you are interested in growing in your intimacy with your mate.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Rekindling the Romance, p. 196

    “The secret is learning how and what to sow in the garden of a woman’s heart. When you sow the seeds of respect, kind words, acts of tenderness, and thoughtfulness, you reap a reward from your wife in abundance… On the other hand, if you fail to cultivate this relationship, or if you sow seeds of criticism, neglect, or rage, sex becomes little more than a cold, physical act in which your wife feels used and unloved.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 163

    “Sloth is a romance killer. Even the word chills the air. By sloth I simply mean laziness with respect to marital intimacy. The most common fruits of this heart condition are passivity and unresponsiveness. We begin to let our appearance go. We grow comfortable with bedroom boredom. We tolerate a lack of sexual desire and settle for one partner doing all the initiating.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Intimate Allies, p. 73

    “Marriages can become plodding, cyclical routines filled with boredom and obligation. No one expects that a marriage will retain the giddy glow of excitement that comes with the novelty of new love. But it is equally wrong to assume that passion must wane simply because of familiarity.”

  • - Clarence Shuler, Your Wife Can Be Your Best Friend, p. 84

    “Over the years of my marriage, I have learned that love is the daily discipline to continue in a marriage the things I did out of passion when my wife and I were dating.”

Next Steps
    • Esteem them for acknowledging the need to invest in their marriage by improving their non‐sexual intimacy and romance
    • Esteem them for battling against the normal slide toward isolation in marriage
    • Encourage them with Scriptures of hope and help
    • Let them know they are not alone. We all need to invest more time and energy into this area of marriage!
    • Encourage them with examples from your own experience and with practical tips that have worked for your marriage
    • Encourage them to pray every day together, even if it’s just for a moment or two… “first love” can lead to mutual love
    • Encourage them to not give up or lose hope, and to not even consider divorce as an option
    • Encourage them to watch out for argument triggers that have a way of killing any hope for tenderness (James 1:19)
    • Encourage them to consider a short TV fast, maybe even 48 hours, to re‐establish meaningful connection (Ephesians 5:16)
    • Encourage them to put their thoughts down on paper if it helps diffuse the strong emotions involved
    • Encourage them not to settle for the isolation, but to do the hard work to move back toward one another
    • Remind them that God has a plan for oneness in their marriage and that He provides the power to make it happen
    • Encourage them to make a list of the positive things about their spouse and to find time to verbalize those (Philippians 4:6‐8)
    • Encourage them to be the one to break the stalemate and move closer, to take the risk!
    • Remind them that love is action, not feelings (1 Corinthians 13:4‐7)
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway
    • Encourage them to read Rekindling the Romance with their spouse and to discuss one chapter at a time together
    • Make a “wish list” of 3 things you desire in your relationship with your spouse.
      Take turns sharing your “I wish” statements with your partner and describe how
      you would feel if your wish came true.
    • Talk to your spouse about what affection was like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal).
    • Think about how your father and mother may have shown affection differently.
    • Discuss ways your family could express more affection for one another.
    • On a scale of 1-10, rate how much affection you feel you have in your marriage right now. Talk about what you would like it to be if you and your spouse could agree on how to gently and patiently bring about change.
    • Consider discussing your sexual past with your spouse in a way that is open and honest.
    • Think of something (hobby, sport, recreational activity) you would like to pursue together.
    • Talk about one of your favorite dates.  What was it about that date that made it so memorable? Is this something you could do again?